I have been recovering from pneumonia over the last 3 weeks. This is an illness that can take hold quickly and go downhill fast. Pneumonia is no joke. It ranks up there just above the flu and will slow you down entirely. It is a time to really listen to what your body needs. Pneumonia is severe and can put you in the hospital and even cause death. Antibiotics are often a necessary evil with pneumonia. There are cases that are less severe and it is sometimes possible to work through the illness without antibiotics. It is an illness that you can start to improve and suddenly take a turn for the worse, so it’s important for early diagnosis and early treatment or it can be fatal.
So, what to do…. Get lots and lots of rest. Pneumonia means that you have fluid in your lungs and thus less room for the oxygen that your blood and brain need. When you have pneumonia, just standing can feel like a real effort. I felt like I weighed a ton of bricks when I stood. Showering was almost all I could do for the day (even though in some ways it would make me feel better, it took a lot out of me.) I would go to bed around 7:30 pm and wake at 6:30 am and I’d feel like I didn’t sleep at all. It is the kind of tired that you feel tired in your bones.
I was fortunate that I could work from home. It was probably more than I should have done, but we’re short staffed in the office and busier than we’ve ever been. Unfortunately a good portion of my role requires that I’m on the phone quite a bit and that was just something pneumonia just didn’t allow me the oxygen for, for about a week and a half. I did all that I could while sitting upright that didn’t involve being on the phone. I worked modified hours and really tried to listen to what my body needed and when.
Here are some of the other things I did to help my body heal from pneumonia despite having to take a round of antibiotics.
- Tons of rest / sleep…. #1 priority
- Lots of bone broth and soup
- Lots of blended greens shakes and essentially eating a very high nutrient diet (no sugar, no caffeine) and tons of water
- Extra supplements including A, B, D and C
- Double probiotics while taking antibiotics and for 2 weeks following
- Breathing exercises to improve lung capacity
- Neti pot several times per day to clear excess mucus
- Herbal combo including Pleurisy root and Osha Root that are specific remedies for lungs and respiratory issues
- Elderberry syrup for my cough
- Gargle with salt water every day sometimes more than once a day
- Drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of warm water (helps loosen mucus)
- If I felt like I could make it to the sauna, that would have been beneficial, but I just didn’t have the energy for it.
The cough, chest & lung congestion that come with pneumonia are terrible and make it difficult to sleep. Unfortunately you want a productive cough, so that your body will rid itself of infection that comes with pneumonia. The cough itself can take all the energy you have while sick with pneumonia. It’s important to be patient and ride it out and be gentle with yourself and diligent about taking care of yourself and not over doing it. I finally had the first day of feeling somewhat human at the end of last week. I’m thankful the worst is behind me, but I will likely still be recovering over the next week or so.
Much of the same applies if you have a cold or the flu. Both can turn into pneumonia and that is a dangerous place to be, so plenty of self care and rest are just what the doctor ordered. Here’s to brighter days ahead and the end of cold & flu season!